SEA CLIFF MAYOR PRESENTS VILLAGE'S CONCERNS OVER GARVIES POINT PROPOSAL AT GC PLANNING BOARD MEETING
At a public hearing on Wednesday September 16, Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy presented to the Glen Cove Planning Board the Village’s concerns regarding the proposed amendments to the Garvies Point redevelopment plans that had been presented by the real estate developer RXR at a Planning Board hearing this past July. The developer who in late 2011 had received approval from that Board to build a planned mixed use community with 860 residential units on a 56 acre site and former brownfield along the northern waterfront of Glen Cove creek, is seeking approval to increase the number of housing units to 1100,and to change the configuration and composition of the buildings in a way that would expand a 12 story building at the western edge of the property, adjacent to the Hempstead Harbor Yacht Club, from 518,000 to 730,000 square feet. In addition to his presentation, Mr. Kennedy also submitted a letter written on behalf of the Village Board by Village Counsel Brian Stolar.
The Village contends that because of “newly available information and changes in circumstances” further study of the environmental impacts of the amended Garvies Point Proposal on Glen Cove, Sea Cliff and surrounding communities ought to be undertaken before the Planning Board grants its approval to the amended plan. The Village is requesting that the planning board require RXR to submit a supplemental Environmental Assessment Form (SEIS) “to address the specific adverse environmental impacts not addressed or inadequately addressed” in the environmental impact study that had been accepted by the planning board when they granted approval to the developer in 2011.
With the mass of the 12 story building being 30% greater than in the original proposal, “the visual impacts for residents of the Village, and for users of public amenities along the waterfront, including Sea Cliff Beach, Glen Cove Creek and Hempstead Harbor, will be unbearable,” Mr. Stolar’s letter reads.” He continues that the original Environmental Impact Study (EIS) that had been conducted for the 2011 plan, did not employ the use of balloons floated to a 12 story height in order to make a determination of the visual impact of the structure, and requests that such a test be done.
The Village also maintains that the original EIS does not take into account the “cumulative effect” of other development projects that the City of Glen Cove has begun to move forward with, and the impact of those projects on traffic, sewer and water usage. Additionally, the previously accepted EIS assumed that modifications to the Sea Cliff Avenue/Glen Cove Avenue intersection would be carried out, but those improvements were never done, and as a result the Village asserts that a new impact study taking into consideration the existing conditions at the intersection should be undertaken.
The accepted EIS also assumed that a ferry service to Manhattan would be operational out of Glen Cove Creek. That reality has never materialized, and thus Mayor Kennedy and Mr. Stolar also contend that further study needs to be done regarding the impact on road traffic absent a ferry service.
Lastly, the Village argues that the City of Glen Cove failed to adhere to a Memorandum of Understanding that it had signed with Glen Cove in 2000. That agreement authorizes the establishment of a six member advisory group known as the Glen Cove Creek Redevelopment Commission, on which the Sea Cliff Mayor and a Village Trustee would have a seat, along with two members of the North Shore Environmental Alliance and two representatives of the City of Glen Cove. Mr. Stolar’s letter states that the City of Glen Cove never provided the Commission with Garvies Point application documents.
Additionally, according to the Memorandum of Understanding, the westernmost building cannot exceed five stories in height, far lower than the 12 story structure that has been proposed.
Although the Glen Cove Planning Board closed the public hearing, they have not as yet rendered a decision on RXR’s amended application.
CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO LETTER FROM VILLAGE OF SEA CLIFF TO GLEN COVE PLANNING BOARD
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